SASE 27th Annual Conference Theme
Inequality in the 21st Century
July 2-4, 2015 - The London School of Economics and Political Science
Submission Deadline: Monday, 26 January 2015
General Conference Theme
The first decade of the 21st century saw increased controversy over the degree of inequality in contemporary societies. This controversy grew more heated yet due to the fact that even after the financial crisis, the wealth and income of the rich continued to grow disproportionately in spite of their role in the crash. As the remedies to the crisis became transmuted in many countries into austerity, the divide appeared to be growing larger, leading to popular protest movements such as the Occupy movement. At the same time, conventional politics and politicians seemed relatively powerless to intervene or to articulate alternatives. The result in many countries has appeared to be on the one hand a general disillusion with conventional politics and on the other hand the emergence of new populist movements that reject traditional political remedies.
At this time, it is therefore appropriate for SASE to revisit the question of inequality, especially in a conference hosted by the London School of Economics, founded by social reformers in the early 20th century and the academic home of R.H. Tawney, whose book Equality (initially published in 1931 and reissued regularly through the early post-war years) served as a key text for Labour politics in the UK and rejected the idea that the inequality he perceived in that period was economically efficient. On the contrary, Tawney saw it as “an economic liability of alarming dimensions.” He argued that “the distribution of wealth [in societies] depends, not wholly, indeed, but largely on their institutions; and the character of their institutions is determined not by immutable economic laws but by the values, preferences, interests and ideals which rule at any given moment in a given society.” (1964 ed., p. 54)
For anybody interested in socio-economics, therefore, inequality is a central phenomenon where institutions and markets come together, and where the key political questions of an era are enacted.
The network promotes theory and research on the socio-economic role, antecedents and consequences of knowledge, technology and innovation. The most important socio-economic institutions for innovation may be found at the micro-, meso- or macro-levels or, indeed, cut across those levels. The network contributes to an interdisciplinary and critical perspective on firms’ development of innovative capabilities and their consequences for socio-economic development.
Topics of particular interest are: national, regional, local and industrial systems of innovation; science, innovation, and technology policies; the distributive consequences of technological change for societies; the influence of socio-economic institutions on firms’ development of innovative capabilities; knowledge-based economies; firms as knowledge systems; varieties of knowledge and knowing in organizations; knowledge work and workers; the socio-economic constitution of knowledge transfer and organizational learning; technological path dependence, break, and creation; the social and organizational conditions for entrepreneurship and innovation; the diffusion of innovation and markets for innovation; intellectual property rights regimes; and product piracy.